Begin Spending Time with God

This morning, Pastor Ronnie said something that’s been bouncing around in my head ever since. He said, “spiritual rhythms remind us who we belong to.” I can’t think of a better way to summarize why we should spend time with God. When we know Who we belong to, it re-frames everything about our day. It reminds us of our hope. Of our purpose. Of our joy. Of our security. It tells us that we’re loved, that we’re valued, and that we matter. Knowing Who we belong to also helps us know who we should be, how we should grow, and what should matter most. Nothing is more important than knowing Who we belong to. Our spiritual rhythms help remind us of exactly that.

But here’s the big question: how do I spend time with God? Today I want to share with you some simple steps you can take to begin a daily rhythm of time with God.

1. Make a Plan

I’ve found that success in my time with God isn’t found when my alarm goes off in the morning, it’s found when I set it the night before. To spend time with God, you’re going to have to get up a little earlier. Start small and set your alarm for 20 minutes before your usual wake up time. But here’s the kicker: you’ve got to go to bed earlier, too. Get more than enough sleep so you’re refreshed when you rise the next day. I’d also encourage you to set out your Bible, notebook, and pen so they’re ready when you wake.

Bonus tip: set the coffee pot to auto brew about 20 minutes before your alarm goes off.

2. Start with Prayer

After you’ve got some coffee, start with a short prayer. Maybe two minutes long, nothing too intense. Ask God to wake you up, to focus your mind and heart on Him, and to speak to you. Spend a minute or two thanking God for being in control and for saving you. Tell Him you’re ready to hear from Him.

Bonus tip: pray out loud if you can, even if it’s just a whisper. It will help you stay focused.

3. Read God’s Word

The centerpiece of your time with God is hearing from Him in His Word. I’ve placed some Bible reading plans at the end of this post because it’s really important to have a plan when you read. Be sure whatever plan you choose is manageable. If you’re new to reading the Bible, then picking a plan that has you reading 4-5 chapters at a time isn’t a good idea. One chapter is a great place to start. Read it slowly and carefully, constantly looking for phrases or verses that jump out at you.

Bonus tip: read when a pen in hand. When something strikes you, jot it down or underline it so you can come back to it later.

4. Respond in Prayer

Finally, transition from your reading to prayer by praying through something you read. Maybe it’s a verse that stuck out to you or a truth you want to remember. Use that as a springboard into a 5-minute time of prayer. During this time, you can also pray for the day ahead, for your family, or any other issues you may be facing.

Bonus tip: keep a list of everything you’re praying for in your notebook and then cross them off when God answers that prayer.

Small steps, big change

This simple formula; 1) open with prayer, 2) read God’s Word, and 3) close in prayer; is a fantastic way to begin your day. If you make this a part of your daily rhythm, you’ll find that more and more you’re aware of who you belong to and that will change everything about your day.

Bible Reading Plans

Below are some great reading plans for you to start off with. All of them can be read in just 5-7 minutes a day. Remember, the plan you choose isn’t as important as just having a plan. Pick one and stick with it!

31 Days in the Book of John
This is a great way to get to know Jesus through the eyes of the Apostle John.

5x5x5 Plan
One chapter a day, five days a week. This plan also includes five helpful tips to get more out of your time with God.

F260 Plan
This plan is a little heftier at around two chapters per day, but with only five readings per week, you have time to get caught up on the weekends.

30 Days in the New Testament
A great way to get an overview of the message of the New Testament with an average of just a chapter a day.

6 Months in the New Testament
Read the entire New Testament, a chapter at a time, in six months.

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